\ ˈkrān How to pronounce crane (audio) \

Definition of crane

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1 : any of a family (Gruidae of the order Gruiformes) of tall wading birds superficially resembling the herons but structurally more nearly related to the rails
2 : any of several herons
3 : an often horizontal projection swinging about a vertical axis: such as
a : a machine for raising, shifting, and lowering heavy weights by means of a projecting swinging arm or with the hoisting apparatus supported on an overhead track
b : an iron arm in a fireplace for supporting kettles
c : a boom for holding a motion-picture or television camera


craned; craning

Definition of crane (Entry 2 of 5)

transitive verb

1 : to raise or lift by or as if by a crane
2 : to stretch toward an object of attention craning her neck to get a better view

intransitive verb

1 : to stretch one's neck toward an object of attention I craned out of the window of my compartment— Webb Waldron
2 : hesitate


biographical name (1)
\ ˈkrān How to pronounce Crane (audio) \

Definition of Crane (Entry 3 of 5)

(Harold) Hart 1899–1932 American poet


biographical name (2)

Definition of Crane (Entry 4 of 5)

Stephen 1871–1900 American writer


biographical name (3)

Definition of Crane (Entry 5 of 5)

Walter 1845–1915 English artist

Illustration of crane

Illustration of crane


crane 1

In the meaning defined above

Synonyms & Antonyms for crane

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of crane in a Sentence

Verb We craned our necks toward the stage. craned her head to see the roof
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The crane brought in to place the tree’s uppermost section a bit like adding a cherry to the top of a sundae., 16 Nov. 2021 And on Wednesday, the crane finally arrived to do the job. Sam Whiting, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 Nov. 2021 Meanwhile, the sign, with its impressionistic globe logo, was left with one corner furiously flapping off the 175-foot crane, once used to load steam trains onto ships for export worldwide. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, 1 Nov. 2021 Jackson claimed that director Paul W.S. Anderson changed the timing of the camera crane's move between rehearsals and filming to secure a more exciting shot. Tyler Aquilina,, 28 Oct. 2021 The crane is made by Broadwind Heavy Fabrications in Manitowoc. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 15 Oct. 2021 Video of a corpse swinging on the crane in broad daylight in Mostofiat Square was widely shared on social media and by news agencies. NBC News, 26 Sep. 2021 Following the 140-mile trek, the fir was escorted by the NYPD to its final destination at Rockefeller Plaza, where it was lifted into place by a crane. Glenn Garner,, 13 Nov. 2021 The tree was cut down Thursday and removed by a crane on the Price property. Fox News, 13 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This whimsical park will especially captivate the attention of young visitors, who may crane their necks to discover the magic on this trail. Patrick Connolly,, 29 Oct. 2021 The images force you to crane your neck to decipher them, or bring the page closer to your face, as if receiving a secret. New York Times, 28 Sep. 2021 In museums, people in portraits crane their necks to look at her. Washington Post, 20 Aug. 2021 After several minutes of technical sound issues, Paffrath stepped off the stage with microphone in hand and moved in front of the crowd, prompting dozens of attendees to crane their necks and lean closer. Lauren Hernández, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 June 2021 Masks are worn onto the plaza and taken off without fear as audience members chat with their pod mates, sip water and crane their necks to observe the unfamiliar social scene. Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times, 1 June 2021 While it was not immediately cited as a factor in the accident, the intersection is a difficult one for westbound traffic to clear, forcing drivers at the stop sign to crane their necks sharply to the left to watch for northbound traffic. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4 Aug. 2020 Garcia continued to crane his head and talk to the deputy, until Khodr grabbed him by the nape of his neck and forced Garcia to look straight ahead. Thalia Beaty, ProPublica, 16 June 2020 On his last evening in Japan, when an Airbus flew over the neighbourhood, a thousand heads craned in awe to see it. The Economist, 28 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crane.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of crane


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1570, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for crane


Middle English cran, from Old English; akin to Old High German krano crane, Greek geranos, Latin grus

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Time Traveler for crane

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The first known use of crane was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

3 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Crane.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for crane



English Language Learners Definition of crane

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a big machine with a long arm that is used by builders for lifting and moving heavy things
: a type of tall bird that has a long neck and long legs and lives near water



English Language Learners Definition of crane (Entry 2 of 2)

: to stretch out (your neck) in order to see better


\ ˈkrān How to pronounce crane (audio) \

Kids Definition of crane

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a large tall wading bird with a long neck, bill, and legs
2 : a machine with a swinging arm for lifting and carrying heavy weights


craned; craning

Kids Definition of crane (Entry 2 of 2)

: to stretch the neck to see better Neighbors craned out the window to see the parade.

More from Merriam-Webster on crane

Nglish: Translation of crane for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crane for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about crane


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